Ian Britton signed a two-year contract to become the full-time manager of Kidderminster Harriers on April 24 2002.
His appointment came less than a month after taking caretaker charge of the team following the departure of the former manager and his assistant, Jan Molby and Gary Barnett, for Hull City.
Having worked at Aggborough since 1991, Ian knew the club back to front, and was seen by the Harriers board as the "best financial option" in difficult times, as well as being able to allow some continuity in football matters.
Having previously managed Bridgnorth Town in the Midland Alliance league, Ian had continued to work as a financial adviser whilst working part-time with the Harriers.
He was delighted to take up the permanent, full-time position as Kidderminster manager at the age of 45 however, and said shortly after his appointment: "I am absolutely ecstatic. I would not have thought at the beginning of the season that I would get a chance to manage a Football League club, especially a club I have been associated with for such a long time.
"I will bring lots of enthusiasm, commitment and endeavour to the job and we will go from there. People say I haven't got experience but I've been dealing with the first team here for 11 years.
"I've served my apprenticeship and have operated under two very good managers in Graham Allner and Jan Molby. My reserves won the league last season (2000/01) and finished third at a higher level this season.
"When you are dealing with the first teamers in the reserves it's even harder because they're more difficult to motivate, so my results stand up n more. I've been scouting at first team level for Jan since he was there so I know the Third Division." Chairman Colin Youngjohns said of the new manager's appointment: "Ian's been here for about 11 years. He knows what we are about and we know him. I am confident he will be able to handle the job.
"He's got a very good relationship with the players and the performances while he has been caretaker have been excellent. We haven't won all the games but then you don't expect to. It's all about continuity and Ian has been an important part of that. We want to keep it going.
"The fans may have been thinking we were going to get Sven-Goran Eriksson but we are under severe financial constraints because we have unsustainable overheads. In the opinion of the board, this is the best financial option. There has been a lot of interest in the job but the applicants would have been much more expensive in some of the cases.
He added: "We have got a network of people we are building up already that are there to assist Ian. His scouting system is already well tried."
Kidderminster Harriers FC confirmed at the end of the 2001/02 season that they would not continue to run a reserve side due to financial and logistical constraints, making Ian's first role in league management even more difficult.
Nevertheless, he was able to steer the side to a promising 11th-place finish in 2002-03, just seven points away from the play-offs.
The following season began rather disappointingly however, and Ian was sacked after 14 games, with the club lying third from bottom of Division Three. His immediate replacement was the man he succeeded at the helm, Jan Molby. The Dane returned as Director of Football and was given charge of first team affairs until the end of the season.